5 crazy rich Asian divas in Hong Kong who prove wealth means more than bling and Hermès Birkins – and are using their influence for good this International Women’s Day

Three Hong Kong women making a difference: Emily Lam-ho, Pansy Ho and Kimbee Chan. Photos: @emilylam.ho/Instagram; SCMP; @kimbeechan_official/Instagram
If you were asked to name a few things Crazy Rich Asians care about, dollar signs, luxury goods and lucrative property investments might come top of your list. But some of the widely recognised moneyed elite have greater goals. Over the years, these inspiring women from different industries have been devoting their time, effort and resources to fund genuine change, and to address social issues from inequality to sustainability. In celebration of International Women’s Day, on March 8, we take a look at five Hong Kong divas making a difference with their money.

Pansy Ho

Pansy Ho is vice-chairperson of the Hong Kong Federation of Women, and vice-president of the Hong Kong Girl Guides Association Photo: SCMP
According to Forbes, Pansy Ho is one of Hong Kong’s 50 richest people in 2021. Performing several influential roles in her father Stanley Ho’s business – managing director of Shun Tak Holdings, and co-chairperson and executive director of MGM China Holdings to name just two – she makes thoughtful use of her annual earnings in support of well-known organisations including the Aids charity amfAR and the Our Hong Kong Foundation. Spreading a message of equal work opportunities and education for women via conferences, events and social media, she has often spoken out as not just an entrepreneur, but also the chairperson of the Hong Kong Federation of Women.

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Kimbee Chan Hoi-wan

Kimbee Chan is chief executive of Chinese Estates and has a Rolodex full of useful celebrity friends. Photo: @kimbeechan_official
With an estimated net worth of HK$70 billion (US$9 billion), Kimbee Chan Hoi-wan doesn’t just shop for bling and Hermès birkins. In fact, she has been very active in her husband Joseph Lau’s charitable trust, and worked closely with different local organisations to secure as many resources as possible during Covid-19. Chan also invited her celebrity friends Sammi Cheng, Louis Koo and others to distribute care packages to the elderly and people with disabilities in 2020.

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Michele Reis

Michele Reis uses her social media to promote her charities and causes. Photo: Her World
After marrying tycoon Julian Hui, model and actress Michele Reis founded the JMJ Children’s Charitable Foundation in 2011, which focuses not just on children, but also elderly people and pets that have been made homeless. In the past, she’s cleverly used her birthday as a reason to ask her supporters to donate to those in need as a gift to her. What better way to promote positive influence and togetherness on social media?

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Emily Lam-ho

Emily Lam-Ho champions sustainability through her various projects. Photo: @emilylam.ho/Instagram

When we think of Hong Kong women in the modern age, Emily Lam-ho is definitely top of our list. Why? Because she manages to juggle being a mother of two with being director of business development at Sing Tao News Corporation, co- founder of EcoDrive Hong Kong and founder of new sustainability concept 8Shades. A strong advocate for the environment, she has also partnered with brands including Chloe, Anya Hindmarch, HSBC and others to promote women’s empowerment. In her spare time, she has often hosted socially conscious activities like beach cleaning.

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Cathy Chui Lee

Cathy Chui-Lee in Nepal. She often travels to developing countries to volunteer and raise awareness of children’s issues. Photo: @cathychui_lee

Cathy Chui Lee was the first Asian Patron of Save the Children. Besides regular donations to those less fortunate than her, she is often spotted at local and global events for Aids charities including the Chi Heng foundation and amfAR. A glance at Chui Lee’s Instagram also shows the mother of three making visits to countries like Nepal and Jordan with Save The Children. It’s one thing to sponsor research and resources, quite another to visit the country in question and be an active volunteer alongside your own family. Brava!

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  • Michele Reis’ JMJ Charitable Foundation helps children and the elderly, while Stanley Ho’s daughter Pansy uses her executive roles to push for women’s equality
  • Kimbee Chan Hoi-wan even taps into her network of celebrity friends like Sammi Cheng and Louis Koo to help distribute care packages to those in need